Recommend August 2013 - (Page 36)

PROEXPORT COLOMBIA latinamerica A bird’s-eye view of Bogota from Monserrate. bogota, COLOMBIA onsitereview M AY 2 0 13 deserae del campo This past spring, Recommend was whisked away on a whirlwind tour of Bogota, Colombia. Although we wished we could’ve spent more time in this South American hotspot, during the short time we were there, Bogota managed to enthrall and enrapture our senses with its culture, museums, pre- and post-Columbian architecture, and its world-class local and international cuisine. There is no denying that it’s difficult to capture the essence of a city in only 48 hours—give or take a few hours because you have to sleep, too—but we’ve managed to pack our 2-day getaway into a handy itinerary that you should feel free to photocopy and hand to your Bogota-bound clients. It includes details on some of the city’s highlights, must-try dining venues and one of the best places to call home while vacationing in Colombia’s capital city. day one HIGHLIGHTS: Our busiest day began with a morning stroll of La Candelaria, Bogota’s charming historic center and truly the cultural heart of Bogota, attracting tourists and locals alike. Narrow cobblestone lanes snake in and around this neighborhood dotted with historic churches and stunning colonial buildings rising only two- or three-stories tall. Here, top museums can be visited such as The Botero Museum, housing over 200 works of art donated by Colombia’s very own Fernando Botero. This colonial home turned museum features artistic works from the mid-19th century up to the end of the 20th century, and 123 of the pieces on display are Botero’s own paintings and sculptures. Up next was The Gold Museum, housing more than 33,000 pieces of pre-Columbian gold from the intricate to the grand in a collection that displays miniscule animal figurines to full body golden garb worn by tribe leaders. Then we hopped on a gut-wrenching cable car ride up to the top of Monserrate, a hill that rises 10,341 ft. above sea level where all of Bogota is laid out in full view, and a spot where millions of pilgrims—and since then travelers—have gathered since 1640. DINING: The San Isidro Restaurant, on top of Monserrate, was where we dined for lunch. Most of the menu offers classic French cuisine, but the ajiaco, a Colombian soup made with potatoes, chicken, and corn and served with a side of rice, avocado and capers, was delicious. 36 august 2013 36-37 LA Colombia 36 For dinner it was Club Colombia, which is housed in a large vine-covered house and which serves only Colombian dishes. Its fireplace lounge is ideal for a pre-dinner cocktail and quite inviting as the nighttime temperature tends to drop. Colombian tamales wrapped in banana leaves made with corn and filled with potatoes, pork and vegetables were mouthwatering, while the heaping salad of seasoned avocados, tomatoes and onions was passed around the table more than once; the shrimp ceviche, which the restaurant is known for, is made with fresh cilantro, onions, lemon juice and avocado. Divine. FAVORITE MOMENTS: The 10-minute cable car leading to the top of Monserrate—definitely sweaty palms and heart palpitations here. Also, sitting peacefully on a bench in the open-air garden courtyard at The Botero Museum. day two HIGHLIGHTS: In the quaint town of Zipaquira lies the impressive Salt Cathedral, located 590 ft. below ground. This massive underground structure has expansive caverns that separate into three sections depicting the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ. Most of the details are handcarved and large slabs of marble were brought into the cathedral for some of the altars. It was back to the city-center after for a coffee break at the Juan Valdez Cafe in Bogota. The cafe’s outdoor seating is great for people-watching and the espresso was strong and aromatic; exactly what we needed during our afternoon break. We winded down the day visiting Bogota’s Zona Rosa shopping district, a section of the city with three large malls located a block from each other where shoppers can find high-end stores and local merchants, too. DINING: After our visit below ground at the Salt Cathedral, we had lunch at a small restaurant on the outskirts of Zipaquira town named Sanalejo, a Colombian word for a room used to store antique items and knick-knacks—and the ambiance was fitting with mismatched chairs surrounding dining tables, old paintings and photographs, plastic fruit, vases and the kind of stuff found in an attic. Our wonderfully seasoned chicken breast came sizzling on an iron skillet and we snacked on large fried cooked plantains with tomato and cilantro sauces. 7/23/13 1:20 PM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend August 2013

Editor's Notes
Hotel Desk: Dan Hotels, Israel
Tour Talk: Jacada Travel
Avalon Expression
Cruising the Rivers of Southeast Asia
Girls & Guys Getaways in Las Vegas
Kimpton Takes Center Stage in San Francisco
South Africa: Bicycles, Horses & Wonderful Experiences
A French Twosome with SLH
Bogota, Colombia
Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta
Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto
Westin Grand Cayman
Grand Case Beach Club, St. Martin
Aruba Marriott Resort

Recommend August 2013